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LeBron James will play for Heat vs. Lakers, Wade out

Jan 19, 2012, 6:28 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

This really shouldn’t be a surprise — LeBron James has been playing through flu-like symptoms all week — but he will suit up and play against the Lakers Thursday night, the team announced, tweeted Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

LeBron had been sent home from the morning shootaround, so he was officially a game-time decision, but it was expected he would suit up. He’d have to be incredibly ill to miss this one. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said LeBron texted him during and after the shootaround saying he was well enough and really wanted to play. (What was Spo going to do, say no?)

Dwyane Wade will miss the game due to his sprained ankle. Again, not surprise.

If Lakers fans think this makes their team’s job a lot easier or means they will coast to a win, they may want to talk to Spurs fans about that. LeBron dropped 33 points and lead a second half defensive resurgence by the Heat that blew the Spurs out of the water Tuesday.

But it will take more than LeBron for the Heat to win tonight.

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